I mean, really progressive.
…there was no man on the jury—Trayvon was a black boy—there was no man, no black on the jury.
Wow! I feel obliged to point out that Jackson just called an African-American male “boy”. Racist.
But that’s beside the point. The point is that changing the legal system to trial by the victim’s peers is quite progressive. Our current but old-fashioned method is to have a jury of the defendant’s peers. Of course Zimmerman is also male, so I guess neither he nor Martin got the trial they deserved. Per Jackson, women are not the peers of men. If only those clucking hens had been led by a man, then justice could have been served.
(Another aside: the obvious man for the job would have been John Roberts. A manly kind of man who knows how to cave in to media pressure.)
Yes, trial and sentencing by those closest to the victim is totally progressive. What it is not, of course, is new. In fact, I’m thinking of an old word. This word starts with a letter. I will now give you a very very very very tiny hint as to the letter:
Although vestigial or virgin minds might view this video with vast vexation. Verily.
vact fact, you might even be able to guess the word itself. It’s this one. And might I add that Miriam-Webster’s page is absolutely perfect for this essay? The first definition given is pure Jesse Jackson. It is his life’s work, his raison d’être.
Vendetta is also the first Italian word that springs to mind when I ponder Obama and his allies. (The second would be omertà.) But it was surprising to learn that the word has only been around since 1855. I would have guessed it was a century older.
That’s probably because vendetta has been practiced a lot longer that it has been pronounced. How much further back? Er…all the way, I guess. Well, almost all the way.
Vendetta probably began shortly after this incident, if not against Cain himself. In fact, the “justice” system known as vendetta has been humanity’s rule, not its exception. It pre-dates the Constitution and the Great Charter. It’s older than English, Italian, Arabic, Hebrew, even Egyptian. It is older than Sumerian.
That’s why it’s perfectly progressive. We know exactly how it will work in the real world because it is the way of the world. It is the opposite of all these new-fangled “conservative” ideas like the rule of law, private property, right of self-defense, and the presumption of innocence. Vendetta is much more suited to people than liberty, which is why it never goes away:
Eleven Italian Americans were lynched in New Orleans on March 14, 1891, by a mob of upwards of twenty thousand people. They had been called together by the city’s political, business, and labor elites a day after a jury acquitted six Italian Americans of the murder of the city’s police chief. Those responsible for the lynching proudly took credit for it, but no one was charged or punished for it.
While that’s the record for a single American vendetta, obviously it will be soon be eclipsed if folks practice what they preach. It normally bothers me that people don’t, but this time we should pray for massive hypocrisy, given the throngs who’ve vowed to kill Zimmerman, his family, white Hispanics, Hispanics, whites, and Floridians.
Of course, the first blow was struck against Oakland cops and American flags, because…er, because…I’m stumped. This is only vendetta if they’re neutralizing police in order for the actual revenge to proceed unhindered. Which, while ruthless, is quite brilliant. So it’s either that or a riot of opportunity, take your pick.
As Solomon once Tweeted, “there is nothing new under the Sun.” And yet…and yet, it feels like modern progressives are somehow progressing beyond all history. Wait, “beyond” isn’t quite right. Behind or beneath would be better, given the direction of progress. Practitioners of vendetta seek an appropriate target; progressives want all-encompassing revenge. Tezcatlipoca’s worshippers got their hands bloody believing they were preventing the end of the world; today’s human sacrifice is sanctified by “choice”, and justified by such arguments as…no joke…it’s better for the children.
So while Jesse Jackson is a truly great progressive, he isn’t perfect.